Category Archives: WITSummer Books

“Reading cultivates intellectual curiosity”

By: Eric Coleman, Communications Manager

“All of the students I’ve worked with, over the time of WITS, have gotten better and better at reading and more and more confident.”
– Nassar Omar, Workplace Mentoring Volunteer with Cook Elementary School

Volunteers from GCM Grosvenor describe their experience in the Workplace Mentoring program and why they are supporting WITSummer Books.

WITSummer Books support students’ passion for reading by building at-home libraries. Your gift sends each WITS student home with a set of brand-new books to continue developing their literacy skills over the summer. Learn more and donate.

“There is no happier student than a student with a book in their hands.”

By: Eric Coleman, Communications Manager

Alyse Mauro Mason, IP Litigation Paralegal at McDermott Will & Emery LLP, and Mid-Day Mentoring volunteer at Brown Elementary School describes her experience as a WITS volunteer and why she is supporting the WITSummer Books campaign.

WITSummer Books develop student literacy through encouraging summer reading and providing each WITS student with a set of engaging books. Your gift builds pride through book ownership and celebrates the positive relationships between students and mentors. Please consider giving generously today.

“We are developing citizens of the world.”

By: Eric Coleman, Communications Manager

Dr. Olimpia Bahena, Chicago Public Schools Principal at Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy, Rochelle Lee Teacher Award Alum, and WITS Board of Directors member, discusses the importance of student literacy and her school’s partnership with WITS.

The WITSummer Books campaign provides access to books, cultivating essential literacy skills among students and supports students’ growth as readers by exposing them to new and engaging books over the summer months. Please consider giving at

WITSummer Books 2018

By Ellen Werner, Program Director

WITSummer Books 2018

Each May, WITS celebrates our students by giving them brand new books: these are our WITSummer Books. The WITS staff selects the books with WITS students’ interests, abilities, and backgrounds in mind. To ensure that students receive books that are close to their reading and interest level, WITS gives different book sets comprising of different formats and genres to pre-kindergarten-first graders, second-third graders, fourth-fifth graders, and sixth-eighth graders. Wondering what WITSummer books students will be receiving at the end of this school year? Read this article to find out! 

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Partner Focus: GCM Grosvenor and Cook Books 2017

“Is my partner here?”

As the WITS staff and I enter Cook Elementary, I am greeted by a handful of students from my Workplace Mentoring Program (WPM). Before heading to class, they skip over for a hug and to ask, “Is my partner here?” One by one they ask about their mentor from GCM Grosvenor, WITS’ corporate host for the WPM with Cook Elementary. I shouldn’t be surprised they are so eager to see their partners. Over the course of the school year, the 33 Cook students who spent their Tuesday afternoons at GCM Grosvenor not only received homework and reading help from their mentors – but also created – together – a place for mutual success and happiness.

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2016-17 School Year Recap and WITSummer Preview

The end of a program year is always a little bittersweet as mentors and students say goodbye. However, the summer is a great time for catching up on reading and we hope our students will do just that with the five new books they received from WITSummer Books campaign. Thank you to our mentors who put in the time and effort to support their students in literacy development, reading confidence, and reading for enjoyment. We are so thankful for the strong school partnerships that invite us into their world every week, and the students who welcome WITS volunteers into their lives for a school year.

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Partner Spotlight: The Illinois Lottery & WITSummerBooks

WITS partners with the Illinois Lottery to provide literacy enrichment and summer reading opportunities to thousands of students through the WITSummerBooks program. The Illinois Lottery strives to maximize revenue for Illinois schools in a responsible manner in addition to supporting community enriching programs such as the WITSummerBooks program. Sponsoring the WITSummerBooks program is a direct investment in student literacy and education for the Illinois Lottery, which is an important part of the Illinois Lottery’s mission.  WITS provides books and reading assistance to youngsters in the greatest need of additional support. For them, summer books are lifelines to adventures, travel and learning opportunities they may not otherwise have.

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Partner Spotlight: KPMG


Beginning in 2015, KPMG has generously provided books to WITS students through the KPMG Family for Literacy (KFFL). Managed in collaboration with First Book, KFFL provides new books to children from low-income families. KFFL has provided more than 2.9 million new books to low-income children in communities across the country since its inception in 2008.

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